Shoplifting suspect leaves elderly San Francisco woman with life-threatening injuries

A 75-year-old wife, mother and grandmother in San Francisco remains in the hospital after being knocked to the ground by a shoplifting suspect almost three weeks ago.

But that man is already out of jail.

The victim's husband asked KTVU to use only their nicknames because they fear for their safety.

78-year-old "Popoy" says he's sad and angry that the suspect has been released.

He says he feels lost in his own home without "Meme," his wife of 56 years.

"1 o'clock, 2 o'clock in the morning, I'm watching tv but I don't know what I'm watching. I couldn't understand what I'm watching because that's what we do," Popoy says he's robbed of his wife's company.

On July 2nd around 2:30 in the afternoon, the couple was shopping at a supermarket in the outer Mission neighborhood.

Popoy says he was getting a shopping cart in the parking lot. He turned around and saw a crowd gathered at the front entrance.

On the ground was his wife unconscious.

"I was holding her like this. Mom, mom, mom," Popoy says as he showed KTVU how he cradled his wife in his arms and that it seemed like an eternity before paramedics arrived.

"I thought she was already dead," says Popoy.

The family says "Meme" suffers from injuries including a fractured skull, severe bruises to her neck and other parts of her body.

During a court hearing on Monday, the family learned  suspect Joseph Tardio had been released from jail and was sitting behind them.

"What ticks me off, they said he's incarcerated in the jail and then he's suddenly behind us." 

District Attorney Chesa Boudin said in a text, "We sought his detention but the judge disagreed and ordered him released."

Tardio faces charges of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, aggravated battery, elder abuse and resisting arrest.

"This was a tragic accident. Although someone was injured, if it's an accident, that is the defense,"says  deputy public defender Martina Avalos who is Tardio's attorney.

Evidence including surveillance video will support this defense, says  Avalos and because he was released on his own recognizance with supervision, there is no bail.

"I'm scared that nothing's going to happen to the case,

it will be swept under the rug," says Popoy.

The family says Meme's road to recovery will be a long one.

The District Attorney's Office says it takes these allegations seriously and is actively prosecuting the case.

The suspect is due back in court next Wednesday.